Have you ever looked back over your life and been awed by the obvious presence of God’s hand in it? My experience on the national game show Deal or No Deal was one of those miraculous events in my life.
In 2005, a good friend of mine called and asked if I wanted to go and audition for this new game show that was coming to the United States. I had never auditioned for a game show before, but my friend was a pro. She had been on several game shows herself, so I put myself in her hands. During the three-hour car ride to Los Angeles, we talked about strategies for getting on the show and our overall excitement about the opportunity.
The audition process itself was a bit crazy; it included several interviews with different casting directors and producers. We went back to LA multiple times over the next few weeks to complete the process and in the end my friend and I were both selected to play in the very first Deal or No Deal games in the United States. We were part of the original promo week of the show before it was even picked up by the network. It was so exciting to be a part of it all!
The miracle of Deal or No Deal was not the money I won or the fun of being on TV and commercials — the miracle was unmistakably my Heavenly Father taking my little life in His hands and miraculously giving me exactly what I needed.
That year was a stressful year for our family. My husband had been injured on the job, our future had some scary uncertainties, and we were struggling financially. Our spirits were just beaten down. We were in a bad place emotionally, spiritually, and financially.
When the day was picked for us to go and play the game, my husband was called out of the country for work last minute and wasn’t going to be able to make it. Luckily, I have three amazing sisters who supported me in this craziness and agreed to come and play with me as my supporters.
The week my sisters and I spent in the green room was excruciating, to say the least! We were stuck in a room for several days while the crew tried to get all the lighting and sound worked out for this new game show. For confidentiality reasons, we sat in a lock-down situation for three days, unable to leave the room, use a phone, or even watch television. Day after day, my sisters and I watched while other contestants were called up ahead of us to play the game. (There were about 10 of us that first week.) None of us was guaranteed a spot on the game, should time or money for production run out. It was definitely a frustrating few days.
On the last day of filming, things were getting pretty tense in the green room, but finally as tempers were running high and patience was running low, they called for us to come and film. Bless Howie Mandel’s soul for being willing to stay late that night so that we could film. He even hired a personal jet so that he could make it back for his show in Las Vegas that night.
To say that my game started out rocky would be the understatement of the world. In my first round, I knocked out almost every single big number on the board. I blew my chance for a million in the first five minutes of filming. I remember during the commercial break saying a silent prayer in my head. I felt an overwhelming need to win money. I thought that if we could just win big, all of my family’s problems would be solved. Heavenly Father, however, had a different lesson to teach me.
In the next round, I did a little better and knocked out a few of the small numbers, but my luck still hadn’t changed for the better.
As it turned out, however, the producers had been planning something with my husband all week, but needed for him to land in Germany before they could film. That day was November 4th, our anniversary, and though he was in another country, he arranged with the producers to send me a gift that I opened on stage. It was a beautiful Tiffany’s necklace that I still cherish.
After the banker called that next round, instead of the banker’s voice, I heard my husband. They showed a picture of he and I on the jumbo screen and I fell to pieces. It was exactly the confidence I needed to play again. Despite the struggles we were having and the unexpected life events that had made that year a difficult one, I felt peace when he was there. As I looked at our picture on the screen, I had an unmistakeable heavenly impression that told me together, we could do anything — money or no money. We were receiving answers to prayers on a national television show. 15 years later, I am still in awe of God’s goodness in my life.
The next minutes on the show flew by as case by case, together we knocked out the remaining small numbers. That left only two options, my largest options: $75,000 and $100,000. It was some time before that however, that I realized I actually knew that the money didn’t matter anymore. What God gave me was hope and peace and an experience I will never forget. I am better and stronger when I trust in my Savior and give Him charge over my life. My husband and I became stronger together as we trusted in HIs timing and relied on each other through thick and thin.
We did not become millionaires that day, and our winnings mostly went to helping us survive over the following years when employment moved us to the DC area and we had to pay two mortgages for several years. But then again, we saw God’s hand. He knew we would need the money in the future and created an environment for us not only to learn about His love for us, but also to prepare us for what was to come.
Looking back, I thank my Heavenly Father every day for a miracle game show that blessed my life in more ways than one, as well as a newfound trust in Him and His will for my life.
Janette Beverley is a lover of life, family, music, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy, and has five amazing children and one equally amazing husband. Janette is excited to be writing for LDS Blogs and sharing her love and passion for finding the miraculous among the mundane, the awe-inspiring among the obvious, and the uplifting among the underestimated. To read more of her work, you can visit Janette's personal blog here.